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Another Ebay Scam To Avoid

Discussion in 'Scale and Miniature Canoe Models' started by Roger Young, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    Here we go again...

    once more, a would-be antique canoe expert with self-professed knowledge of what an authentic Kennebec Canoe Co. sample looks like, posts another of the recently-imported Chinese toys as the real thing, claiming it to be "antique" and made by Kennebec, even though the stencilling on the side is visibly recent, and not even being close to the correct font.


    The seller's description reads: "This is a rare and unusual antique Salesman Sample Canoe model from the Kennebec Canoe Company out of Waterville Maine. It measures 27.5 inches in length, 4.75 inches wide, 2 inches in height. It is in excellent condition. The canoe is antique, i believe the lettering is not original to the canoe and is probably more recent. The canoe is in excellent condition. It is hand made of excellent quality."

    I have written the seller to advise that this information is completely bogus, that the item is a recent Chinese import, that the posted offer could be considered fraudulent, and suggested the listing be taken down. We'll see.

    Attached Files:

  2. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    I also wrote the seller, nicely but clearly and directly, on the day the listing was made (3 days ago). I included links to discussions and photos of authentic Kennebec model canoes, and made it clear that this is not an antique, not made by Kennebec, not rare, and not a salesman's sample. The seller has not responded and the listing remains active and unchanged. Potential bidders beware!
  3. OP
    Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    Michael, the seller has continued to advertise this bogus piece on eBay. Although advised that the article is fake, eBay has done nothing - not surprising since this is one of their vaunted 'Power Sellers', and they have a vested interest in collecting nickle and dime commissions from his many sales.

    I publicly 'outed' this deceptive listing on FB 'Fans of WCHA', hoping to warn others of the scam. The seller then slightly amended his listing, but continued to insist that the piece is either "antique" or "vintage". The listing later expired without bids. He has now subsequently re-listed, again making many of the same claims that this is a vintage salesman's sample, rare, with "Kennebec" brand name, albeit perhaps "added later". He stubbornly refuses to accept that he is in error, and maintains this is a valuable, vintage item. To enlighten him, I have sent him the below photos of identical pieces, complete with the boxes they come in, imported from China, and sold by other, more scrupulous and honest eBay vendors for $20 - $25, for exactly what they are - very cheap, mass-produced replicas or toy canoes, not authentic, rare "samples" worth hundreds (or thousands), as he might wish some gullible buyer to believe.

    His persistent bogus claims and false advertising hopefully are seen as an indication of his non-desirability as a person to deal with.
    A name to avoid: barleyneckusa.

    Attached Files:

  4. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Hi Roger. I saw the new listing this morning as well. The seller - barleyneckusa - now describes the canoe as "vintage in age" and still calls it a "vintage salesman's sample". This little canoe is clearly and obviously not a salesman's sample. Merriam-Webster defines the word vintage as "a period of origin or manufacture", so sure it's vintage, just as everything ever made is vintage. The seller, having been given expert and verifiable information on this cheap import, still attempts to suggest that this is a rare and valuable piece. I have no stake in this and have no knowledge of or dealings with this seller, but a quick internet search turns up some court filings related to their sales. And this from, a website devoted to outing unscrupulous sellers of Tiffany lamps and related items (they call an unscrupulous seller a "contributor" to their site):

    This seller has been a frequent contributor to TIFFANYFAKES.COM and he is back with two of the most outrageous examples ever attributed to Tiffany. As antique dealers have they no pride in their profession? Obviously the answer is NO."

    On that site, barleyneckusa is identified as a "frequent seller of fake Tiffany" that buyers should "stay away from... at all costs".
  5. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    I was given one of those model canoes and it is worth twenty bucks I suppose. This seller is clearly peddling fakes and he knows it.
  6. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    A few months ago I stumbled on a listing for a recumbent trike, used, and on a buy it now for over two grand. I recognized the photo, which had been stolen from a private seller British eBay auction a couple months earlier. I looked up the seller's reputation on the bicycle forums and it was similarly poor with a lot of fraudulent activity. I reported it using eBay's lousy multiple choice automated system (where there is never the choice you actually need) and didn't hear back. A couple day later I even called them, told the lady about it and even gave her the number for the original listing that the photo and info was stolen from. Still nothing and it stayed up for another couple of months.

    Finally one day I got pissed and found the access to the eBay member's chat forum, or whatever it is called (where the customers help each other because eBay can't be bothered to do so). I made a post titled something like "Here is a scam, but eBay doesn't care" and gave the listing number and stated the problem. A day later, the listing had been removed. The same approach might work with these faker canoe models or at least be worth a try.
    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  7. OP
    Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    What you say about the cumbersome and not-very-helpful eBay reporting system is SO TRUE, in my experience over the years. Although eBay claims that it cares, and strives to prevent fraud, my personal experience with them over the years has been most frustrating and exasperating. I did much the same as you - reporting, even phoning to complain. I even went further. I used to try to track down the actual makers of the fakes, as well as the sellers. Several times, I contacted FBI personnel and local police forces, offering to provide evidence of fraud. eBay itself hardly lifted a finger. A couple of times, raising complaints in eBay chat forums did succeed similar to your results. It didn't take long before the perps showed up again, after going into hiding for a few weeks. Overall, I believe there is somewhat better awareness these days, but innocent folks are still being scammed. The sample in question, here, got relisted several times; the asking price was reduced from the original nearly $1000 level to around $500, then eventually sold to a 'best offer', actual selling price undisclosed. However, since it was nothing more than a cheap Chinese repro import worth about $25 in most flea markets, you can pretty much bet that someone got well and truly fleeced; and eBay will benefit by collecting 10% commission for its part in providing the online marketplace. eBay loves its 'Power Sellers', who do big volume sales, and they really don't care all that much how that's done, as long as the 10% commission fees keep rolling in.
  8. OP
    Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    You're very welcome; glad it helped. Welcome to the group. I believe you'll find many new friends here who are always happy to assist with advice and guidance. Don't ever be afraid to ask about things; there are never any silly questions in life, just folks too shy to seek the answers.

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